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Fréquence bain bébé.

Should babies be washed at the same frequency as adults?

Washing their baby is one of the first tasks parents learn in the maternity ward. However, once they return home, they often question the frequency required to maintain the infant's hygiene. Should they wash their baby every day? Here are some insights to keep their baby clean.

Published March 4, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

Baby Skin and Adult Skin: Are there differences?

In order to determine whether babies should be washed as frequently as adults, it is important to consider the differences between their skin. The skin structures are not fully developed in infants and it is estimated that one must wait approximately six years before a child's skin is similar to that of an adult. As for the skin of babies, their primary characteristic is their great fragility, partly explained by the thinness of their epidermis. The latter is about 20% thinner in newborns, which results in a high permeability : thus, babies' skin more easily absorbs allergens, pollution, and bacteria.

Furthermore, children's skin tends to be more dry, due to the low activity of the sebaceous and sweat glands early in life. As a result, the hydrolipidic film is more fragile, as is the skin barrier. This also affects the skin's pH, which is less acidic than in adults. However, this natural acidity serves a very practical purpose: it plays a role in maintaining the microbiota and promotes the synthesis of ceramides, the lipids in the stratum corneum that minimize water loss. Given these physiological differences, one might wonder if babies need to bathe as frequently as adults do.

How often should you wash your baby?

Just like adults, a baby's hygiene needs to be maintained daily to ensure cleanliness and good health. Before and after cleaning, it is crucial for the parent to thoroughly wash their hands, to prevent any bacterial contamination. Hygiene includes every part of the body, the armpits, around the navel, the private parts, behind the ears, etc... Moreover, a light cleaning is necessary after each meal and after each diaper change, to keep the baby clean. It's important to note that daily hygiene does not always require water, so as not to disrupt the already delicate hydrolipidic film of the infant. The use of a saline solution is sufficient for daily care.

The ideal frequency for giving your baby baths is 2 to 3 times a week, due to the drying effect of water on the skin. Moreover, since babies sweat very little, this is more than sufficient. It is advised not to leave an infant in the water for more than 10 minutes to preserve their skin, even if your baby loves to splash around. We also recommend using rich and nourishing creams and cleansing oils to wash your child. Indeed, studies have shown that the application of certain vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil or grape seed oil improves the skin barrier function of babies. Rich in omega-3, these improve the skin's lipid content and provide protection against infections.

Golden Rule : Never leave your baby alone in their bath. If you need to leave the room, for whatever reason, wrap them in a soft towel and take them with you.


  • DARMSTADT G. L. & others. Neonatal skin care. Pediatric Clinics of North America (2000).

  • HACHEM J. P. & al. Infant Epidermal Skin Physiology: Adaptation After Birth. British Journal of Dermatology (2012).


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